İlham Aliyev About Peace with Armenia, Peacekeepers, The Minsk Group and The Zangezur Corridor
On January 12, President Ilham Aliyev gave an interview to a number of Azerbaijani TV channels, in which he touched on a number of important political and economic issues.
The Armenian authorities do not have a clear position in the peace negotiations. At first, Armenia could not give an unequivocal answer to the proposals for demarcation and delimitation of borders.
“We proposed mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity, began the delimitation of borders, opened communications and signed a peace treaty.
Having a peace treaty does not give a 100% guarantee, but it will minimize the risk of a new war. However, any peace treaty can be just a piece of paper for Armenia,” Aliyev said.
Touching upon the topic of the Zangezur corridor, Aliyev noted that this is the birthplace of his grandfather. “During the ethnic cleansing by the Armenians, his family was forced to move to Nakhchivan,” he said.
The Armenian side is zealous about the implementation of the Zangezur corridor. However, the air part of this project has already been implemented and passenger planes are already flying to Nakhchivan through the territory of Armenia.
“We did not ask Armenia’s permission, this is our right and this is an international corridor,” he added.
This corridor implies the presence of a railway and a road, and in the future there will be a power line and a gas pipeline. “One branch can be laid through Kapan, the second through Meghri, and another one through Sisian,” Aliyev said. According to him, Armenia was against this and today there are forces hindering this project. However, the tripartite commission is dealing with this issue and “Our position is that it should be the shortest route that will operate all year round,” Aliyev said.
At the same time, he made it clear that the current authorities of Armenia should not be strongly trusted. “This government provoked the war with its actions and statements,” Aliyev stressed.
He did not rule out that the latest aggravation on the border is due to Yerevan’s desire to disrupt the peace process and involve the CSTO in the conflict. Azerbaijan does not need a third war, but if there is any threat, it will be immediately destroyed.
Referring to the situation in Karabakh, Aliyev said that 27,000 people currently live there. Many are leaving. Russian peacekeepers are taking steps to keep those leaving.
In addition, peacekeepers let foreigners into Karabakh. For example, French presidential candidate Valerie Pecresse. In response to Baku’s claims, the peacekeepers say that they did not know about the visit of foreigners. This is not convincing, Aliyev said and noted: “Besides these cases, we are satisfied with the activities of the peacekeepers,” Aliyev said.
Such visits have a negative impact on the relations between Azerbaijan and France. “If we had known that Valerie Pecresse had arrived there, we would have detained them in the Lachin corridor,” Aliyev said.
However, every time Azerbaijan expresses its dissatisfaction with the Russian side, he added.
Aliyev noted that in 2021, relations between Azerbaijan and Russia rose to an even higher level, without specifying what exactly caused this.
When asked about the role of the OSCE Minsk Group, Aliyev said that it is no longer needed because the Karabakh conflict has been resolved. “We will not allow them to do this,” Aliyev said categorically